Riding high: Prasa’s ‘useless’ engines find new purpose up north

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Riding high: Prasa’s ‘useless’ engines find new purpose up north

SA’s trash turns into treasure for a private locomotive operator in Tanzania

Senior reporter

There is a happy ending for some of the leading characters in the famous “too tall” locomotive saga that cost the Passenger Rail Agency billions of rand and hastened the demise of SA’s long-distance passenger trains.

Six of the Spanish-built AFRO 4000 locomotives that were found to be too high for parts of SA’s rail network are now working flat-out on freight trains for a private operator on the 1,400km Tazara Railway that runs between Tanzania and Zambia.

James Holley, CEO of private locomotive operator Traxtion, which bought the seven engines at auction in 2019, said the locomotives were already proving to be a success...

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